AUGUST 2013 – Taking Care of Business
First, I (Karen) must first tell you one of my favorite moments of this whole experience: the day I watched in awe as Kate did what she does best. Where our blog posts left off, we were just about to launch our Kickstarter Campaign, which we had decided to do on August 13th… Dan’s birthday. Suddenly we received a message from Kickstarter saying they needed two to three days to “approve” our campaign. What??!!! This was not news we were happy about – August 15th or 16th just wouldn’t cut it. And Kate was going make it happen. She loaded up her LinkedIn account and began trolling for anyone who might know someone at Kickstarter. (FYI, there is no “contact us” link for KS, nor a phone number, nor any other means of human contact.) At last, Kate found a guy she had worked with on a film, who had a LinkedIn connection to another guy who had once had business dealings with Kickstarter. This stranger to us lived in Austin, TX…and we called him immediately. He was very friendly, with a sexy French accent. Kate explained our challenge. Mr. Charming Frenchman said to call his former assistant in New York, who should have contact info for someone at Kickstarter. It was 5pm in NY, and Former Assistant was still at his desk. This would never happen in LA. Former assistant would have been out surfing ;-)
The “someone” turned out to be Yancey Strickler, the Co-Founder and CEO of Kickstarter. Charming Frenchman’s Former Assistant was hesitant to pass along contact information, but Kate persisted. “It’s Dan’s birthday. I promise Yancy will never know it came from you,” Kate purred. And voila, she was popping off a missive to #1 head honcho at Kickstarter, starting her plea with “I’m taking a desperate measure contacting you directly but…” She went on to explain how very important it was that we launch our campaign today (by now it was after 8pm in the east). Surely there must be some way to expedite our submission? Ten minutes later we got an email from Yancey Strickler himself. “Go ahead and submit your project, I’ll take care of it.” We were elated. Kate wrote back thanking Yancy and promising him tickets to opening night on Broadway, and sure enough, at about 11:30pm (EST) we got the Kickstarter approval e-mail. At 12:01 on August 13th (9:01 in LA where we were), the “Part of the Plan” Kickstarter campaign was launched. And THAT’S how we get things done around here!!!
The Kickstarter Campaign was so exciting, and nerve-wracking, and rewarding. Friends and family stepped up to help us realize our dream. We reached out to people from our distant past, and Facebook friends whom we’d never actually met. But it’s safe to say that we couldn’t have done it without those of you we met through the various Fogelberg fan sites. We have to give honorable mention to Deb Jelinek and Erik Mills for helping us reach the fans on the Fogelberg websites and FB pages that they manage. And a special shout-out to Pamela Feuhrer and Kathy & Mike Kotel for challenging the DanFans to up their support by promising matching funds!
You can still access the “Dan Fogelberg Musical” Kickstarter page, read the updates, see photographs and videos of the campaign, day by day, week by week. One of our greatest joys was Jean Fogelberg’s original artwork, which is so evocative of our story, and means more than we can say. Jean has been the most wonderful partner on this project.
And a mere four weeks after it began, the campaign was over. Not only did we reach our $50,000 goal, we exceeded it!!! We could move forward with the staged reading of “Part of the Plan.” Now the real work would begin!
SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2013; The Great View from Cloud 9!
September was spent finding and hiring actors, working with a director, a musical director, locking down theater space, and polishing the material. As October arrived, we were both a bit nervous because we hadn’t yet had the chance to see and hear the text and the music performed together. (Reading aloud to each other didn’t count.) On October 24th and 26th, we had two truly wonderful staged readings, both with standing ovations! We knew from the reactions that we were definitely on the right track. We threw a party after the 2nd performance, and our Kickstarter supporters in attendance came to celebrate with us, along with our actors and creative team. Then just like that, it was over. After the months of planning, preparing, raising money, and experiencing what Cloud 9 felt like, we were faced with that great expanse of “what next?” The next blog post will answer that question!